Cytiva launches BioChallenge in Southeast Asia to support biotech startups

September 8, 2022 - 3 minutes
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Cytiva has launched its BioChallenge competition in Southeast Asia to help small to medium sized biotech companies in the fields of cell engineering, process development, as well as isolation and purification. 

Winners of the BioChallenge will be awarded up to SG$200,000 ($142,000) in FastTrak services so that they can scale up efficiently, mitigate risks, and reduce time to market.

Since its introduction in 2018, Cytiva’s BioChallenge has supported research, bioprocessing development and commercialization of more than 130 projects globally in the form of $4 million worth of products and services. 

In addition to BioChallenge, Cytiva supports the biotech community in Southeast Asia through the Cytiva Experience Learning Lab (CELL), which was established in Singapore in 2021. CELL has to date conducted more than 70 training sessions with tertiary academic and research institutes on the latest bioprocessing and production techniques for the development of advanced therapeutics.

Culture of cooperation

Firman Ghouze, marketing director, Asia Pacific at Cytiva, said: “According to the FDA, 63% of approved biologics are driven by small and medium sized companies – signaling that smaller ventures are driving innovation in biologics. Cytiva’s BioChallenge recognizes the talent, resource and scalability constraints faced by the industry, particularly by early-stage biotechs or translational research organizations. 

“By launching the BioChallenge in Southeast Asia, we hope to foster a culture of cooperation and open innovation with governments, think tanks and institutions to address these challenges and empower promising biotech startups with the speed and flexibility to bring highly advanced innovations from molecule to market.”

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According to the 2021 Global Biopharma Resilience Index, a survey of 1,165 biopharma executives and healthcare policymakers across 20 countries by Cytiva and Financial Times’ research arm Longitude, manufacturing agility and R&D collaboration were key challenges faced by startups in the biopharma industry. 

The Index revealed that startups do not have the same access to talent and resources as big biopharma companies to scale up from discovery. The Index findings also lay a clear roadmap for biopharma firms that need to make their manufacturing operations more agile. 

About Cytiva BioChallenge 

The BioChallenge Competition entails a two-stage competition, open to all small and medium sized biotechs in Southeast Asia that run pre-clinical or clinical stage projects. Applicants running projects around developing novel vector and/or payload designs, novel therapeutics, novel vaccines or antibody-based molecules can apply. 

Companies will be assessed based on five criteria which include project rationale, experimental outline and future business impact. Only five candidates will be shortlisted in the finals. Past winners of the Cytiva competition include biotechs such as VivaZome, Medipost and Genexine.

Applications are open until December 31, 2022. 

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